In 2020, New Zealand’s parliament instituted comprehensive regulations to govern the nation’s vaping industry. Vaping has been fully legal in New Zealand for several years, but it has taken the nation’s government quite some time to come up with a set of regulations that it believes will keep vaping an appealing and affordable option for smokers who want to quit while ensuring that those who don’t smoke – especially teens – will not be enticed by it.
The great news for New Zealand vape shops like Premium Vape is that the regulations ensure the future of the New Zealand vaping industry as a whole. Entrepreneurs aren’t going to sink their life savings into vaping-related ventures, only to have the government regulate the industry out of existence in the future. New Zealand’s government supports the idea of vaping as a means of reducing the harm associated with tobacco use and has established a framework that will allow the industry to thrive into the future.
With those things said, the new regulations will certainly change some ways about how the vaping industry operates in New Zealand. What’s going to change? That’s the question this article will explore.
How Will New Zealand’s Vaping Regulations Change Things for Traditional Retailers?
New Zealand’s vaping regulations will most likely make vaping products much less important to traditional retailers like supermarkets and convenience stores than they currently are. That’s because traditional retailers now have the following restrictions when selling vaping products:
- They are unable to sell e-cigarette cartridges and pods or e-liquids in flavors other than tobacco, menthol and mint.
- They are unable to offer discounts or loyalty programs for vaping products.
- They are unable to recommend specific vaping products or show customers how to set them up.
With these rules in place, just about the only thing that a traditional retailer in New Zealand can do to advertise vaping products is display them next to the cigarettes. That’s certainly a good way to introduce vaping to people who smoke, but the limited e-liquid flavor selection available from traditional retailers means that the smokers who enjoy vaping will quickly gravitate to the specialized vape shops that can still sell e-liquid in all flavors.
How Will New Zealand’s Vaping Regulations Change Things for Vape Shops?
New Zealand’s vaping regulations probably change the sale of vaping products more fundamentally for traditional retailers than it does for vape shops, but vape shop owners will deal with a few significant changes as well. The regulations define a specialized vape shop as one that earns almost all of its revenue from vaping products. For those businesses, New Zealand’s vaping regulations mean the following:
- Vape shops will still be able to sell vaping products in all flavors.
- Vape shops will be allowed to discuss the pros and cons of different products and to show customers how to set the products up. To help facilitate the sometimes-challenging transition from smoking to vaping, people will be allowed to vape in vape shops.
- Vape shops will be allowed to offer discounts and loyalty programs.
- Vape shops will not be allowed to advertise and will attract new customers mainly through SEO initiatives and word of mouth.
The fact that vape shops in New Zealand can still sell the full range of available vaping products means that, in broad strokes, it’s still going to be business as usual even with the country’s new regulations in place. Upon closer inspection, though, it becomes evident that the inability to advertise will represent a major change in how vape shops do business.
How Will New Zealand’s Vaping Industry Evolve in the Future?
Industry observers agree that it’ll be interesting to see whether New Zealand’s new vaping regulations will help or hinder the nation’s goal of becoming virtually tobacco free by 2025. The advertising restriction for vape shops doesn’t prevent those companies from using techniques like search engine optimization to attract web traffic, but without advertising, vape shops can only hope to attract traffic from people who already know what vaping is and are specifically looking for vape shops. Vape shops would need to advertise in order to attract smokers who haven’t tried vaping yet and don’t know about its benefits – but they can’t do that.
It’ll effectively be the traditional retailers displaying vaping products next to the cigarettes, in fact, who will become New Zealand’s greatest ambassadors for vaping. Since traditional retailers can’t sell vaping products in all flavors, though, the products they offer won’t be the most appealing ones on the market.
Given the new legal situation in New Zealand, a smoker who decides to switch to vaping will take an interesting path toward doing so. The “tobacco” e-liquids that traditional retailers are still allowed to sell are rather notorious for tasting horrible, so it’s conceivable that many New Zealanders will buy their first vaping kits from their local convenience stores only to decide that they don’t like vaping and don’t want to explore it further. Those who persevere and seek out New Zealand’s many local and online vape shops will learn that the world of vaping consists of many more than just three flavors – almost all of which are infinitely better than tobacco, menthol and mint.
As mentioned above, New Zealand’s ambitious goal is to eliminate virtually all tobacco use in the country by 2025. To help that happen, New Zealand’s parliament has established a legal framework that will allow vaping businesses to survive and thrive into the future. At the same time, the regulations also limit those businesses’ ability to reach the people who need to switch to vaping if New Zealand is to have any hope of reaching its tobacco-free goal. In the end, converting the country’s nearly half-million smokers to vaping is probably going to require extensive word of mouth in the form of a major grass-roots intervention by New Zealand’s vaping consumers. New Zealand has a long way to go before it eliminates tobacco use, so hopefully the country’s vaping community is up to the task.